A race to serve on the board for Spokane County Water District 3 is a rematch from four years ago.
Incumbent commissioner, Nathan P. Jeffries, won the position with 51.7% of the vote in 2017. He faces civil engineering consultant Kevin McMulkin, who had been appointed to the board in 2016 and lost the seat to Jeffries in that race.
As the current commissioner, Jeffries has had a long history with water. Growing up, he worked for his family’s sprinkler company; his day job as a firefighter for Spokane Fire District No. 9, where he serves as a division chief, has also closely tied him to water.
“Water was second nature to me,” Jeffries said. “And so this was kind of a logical step if I wanted to stick my foot into the political arena.”
McMulkin graduated with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and is a licensed civil engineer for the state of Washington. He served as a consulting engineer for multiple water systems in the region for over 30 years.
“I work as a consulting engineer for various water systems in the Spokane area, and I interact with the board members at their meetings,” McMulkin said.
Both candidates want to make sure that water infrastructure in the district is constantly being updated and fixed. Furthermore, they both say keeping rates affordable is a priority.
“It is important to be fiscally responsible with the district monies,” McMulkin said. “And continue to maintain a good quality water system with affordable rates for the district customers.”
Jeffries said it’s essential for the district to move forward on plans to replace aging infrastructure.
“You do have to spend some money to save money sometimes,” Jeffries said. “And that’s one of the jobs of the commissioner is to weigh those jobs that the commissioner brings to us to approve.”
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